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Wisconsin dog who went viral passes away

BAYFIELD, WI (WTAQ) - A peaceful photo of a man and his dog in Lake Superior created an Internet sensation a year ago.

Now, thousands of people are expressing their condolences after the dog died this week.

John Unger of Bayfield often took his 20-year-old dog Schoep into the lake to ease the pain from the pet’s arthritis. Hannah Stonehouse Hudson captured one of their intimate bonding moments on film.

Once it went viral last summer, folks from Texas to Slovakia donated to help cover the dog’s laser treatments and vet bills. The 49-year-old Unger said it helped give Schoep another year of life – and he expressed his appreciation by placing photos and updates about him and his dog on Facebook.

By early Thursday night, over 27,000 people expressed their sympathies online.

One person from Las Vegas wrote, “Your daily posts have gotten me through my toughest days.” Another wrote, “You’d be hard pressed to find another dog in this world that is, and was loved more.”